During the ratio and rates unit, we provided a variety of warm-up problems that allowed students to practice the math. One of the unit rate problems was to find the price for one apple if 5 apples cost $8.35.
At the beginning of class during the warm-up, we paused the time and had students line up in the hallway. As we were walking out, “Michael” asked me what the problem was. I told him the problem, he thanked me, and we went out in the hall. After a few minutes, we returned to the classroom and everyone resumed working.
As I went around to check on students’ progress, “Michael” stopped me. He asked me to check his answer to the apple unit rate problem. As I looked over it, he told me that he did all the math in his head as we were standing out in the hallway.
It was impressive to me that he could do that kind of mental math. Most of my 6th grade students need to write out all of their division problems and that he could do the division without needing to see it in front of him was really interesting to me.